It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m one of those people. You know the type. The people who look at ingredient lists and nutritional values on the back of packages at the grocery store. Wanna know calories by types of booze? I can tell ya! I’m not proud of this but I sort of have to accept that it’s who I am. I read up on everything, get throughly prepared, then ignore every single bit of information I’ve managed to learn. Efficient!
As such, I went on a journey to discover the casual and technical implications of starting my own blog and found that there’s not that much info out there. Sure there are tons of general guidelines on how to create a successful blog, some of which are even adapted to aniblogging specifically, but no one really tells you what to expect!
I’ll admit that this is probably because the experience is highly personal and different for everyone… Let’s ignore that! Here are the Top 5 things to know before starting an anime blog (based on personal experience and possibly not applicable to anyone else)
5. Everyone already knows that
A lot of anime bloggers aren’t necessarily an active part of the community otherwise, and even less so in real life. The most common reason for starting an anime blog is always, I wanted to find a community to talk about anime with. As such, when we start out our blog we often feel like we are throwing out something revolutionary out there.
Clearly no one thinks about anime as much as we do, so no one’s come up with this harebrained theory or analyzed that super obscure series. You painstakingly selftranslated a visual novel, there’s no way anyone else has even heard of it.
We are all passionate here and we have all seen, analyzed, thought about way too much anime. That doesn’t mean you should publish that post. You most definitely should. We are anime fans, we want to read as much as we can about it. Just don’t be disappointed when the first comment is, oh yeah…I read a very similar post a while back…
4. Actually people are almost suspiciously nice
I have often spoken that I did not interact too much with other fans. However, there was a general perception out there that anime fans were not always the most welcoming or tolerant. When you factor in the internet’s natural tendency towards toxicity, and I was gearing myself up to get chewed out regularly, regardless of what I actually wrote.
Don’t get me wrong, some fandoms do get very defensive about their favorite shows and can occasionally become prickly when you disagree. But although the larger anime community seems to be filled with occasionally aggressive gatekeepers or the “well actually” folks, I have found that the anime wordpress community has been nothing but kind and supportive.
If you just take the time to get to know these folks a little, you will be rewarded by opened minded, intelligent folks willing to discuss your favorite hobby with you, cheer on your successes and cheer you up during the harder times. It’s pretty amazing really. So there’s no need to go into blogging all defensive and stuff. You won’t need an armor, no one is attacking.
3. Watching anime is difficult
I know what you’re thinking. You LOVE anime. You watch TONS of anime. If you could, you would do nothing but watch anime. And you like writing as well, so writing about anime is going to be a breeze! Trust me when I say 1) you don’t watch as much anime as you think you do. 2) Watching anime is hard.
Sure, your MAL page may say that you’ve wasted the equivalent of your life on nothing but watching anime, and sure it may be your no 1 hobby but sometimes you don’t watch anime. Sometimes you watch TV or play video games. I hear that some people also go outdoors occasionally. I’m not sure why… But while you’re doing that, you’re not watching anything you can review. You’re not getting ideas for new posts or else you’re going to stray from your format.
Your mindset becomes very different when you feel like you HAVE to watch anime. Even if it’s self-imposed.
One of the most common reason I hear people stop posting on their anime blogs is that they just don’t watch as much anime anymore. Or they don’t have time. They got anime exhaustion. It’s a thing! You should know about it!
2. You will care
Maybe you are starting your blog with no expectations whatsoever, or maybe you’re just a cool, relaxed, confident person who isn’t defined by their performance, let alone their blogs. Trust me, no matter how indifferent you think you are, you will care about some random indicator of performance at some point. It’s fine. We’re goal oriented creatures after all.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong about wanting your blog to succeed on some level. Just be prepared to catch yourself checking stats or comparing yourself to others, or just wishing you would get a certain number of views or attract people with peculiar search terms… Point is, the blog is a much more emotional experience than I had expected. The odd attachment we form with the abstract idea of our writing is difficult to put in words, and greatly varies from one person to the next, but is always present in some way.
This isn’t either a positive or a negative. If you happen to be a very sensitive person expect some ups and downs. Then again, you’re probably use to those by now!
1. You are better than you think
It may shock you to know that I in fact write a lot and often. I also argue a lot. This is how I know for a fact that I have a tendency to ramble and my grammar is more creative than correct. Essentially, I am not an objectively good writer. There’s a reason I chose to study numbers rather than letters. So, I started this blog thinking I would be very bad at it. Difficult to understand and possibly a little boring. And maybe I am. This thing is, I hadn’t properly understood what a blog is.
I am a bad journalist and pretty pitiful teacher. And that’s fine. Because I’m not trying to inform or educate you. I’m trying to have a chat. And, even if I do say so myself, I am a pretty decent conversationalist. Somehow, I hadn’t figured out that, that was the skill I would be exploiting.
Fact is, no matter what your weaknesses and personal drawbacks may be, you will eventually find your voice. Your particular format and style. And once you do, you’ll realize that it’s fine if you aren’t good at writing jokes or if you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of anime. The anime blogging world is pretty big and there’s a place in there that’s just for you. You really are better than you think!
As usual, I am not pretending to be an authority on the subject. In fact, I would really love to know if you have anything to add. This was a great way to reflect back on my blogging experience and I would love to hear about yours!
57 thoughts on “Top 5 Things to Know Before You Start an Anime Blog”
This definitely resonates with me… mainly the no. 3 :(. I feel like I have no time to watch anime and it feels really, really bad.
Oh that sucks. Hang in there, we all get thosr crazy busy times but I’m sure you’ll figure it out!
Haha this was a great post as always from you Miss Irina. *crying face* it’s been so long since I commented on one of your posts. This was an important post many new bloggers are going to love, because there are many things you are not told or learn when you first start blogging. Personally for me when I started out, your number 3 resonated with me a lot, knowing I might not have all the time in the world to watch anime, then let alone write about. I feared I would quit blogging much sooner but here I am still… FREAKING HERE !! there was never any problem and the best point in this whole post cracked me up “people go outside” LOL so true. 🙂
People are weird…don’t they know there’s wolves outside…
And kolas who look innocent but really are vicious little things….
I love this post ! This is officially one of my all time favorite posts. It’s not just funny, but it’s also very relatable. I could relate to so much you wrote here, especially number 3. “Some people even go outdoors” cracked me up.
Wow – thank you so much! This comment is going up on my fridge! Really made my day
Lol, that’s so sweet, you’re welcome 😊
Great as usual
#3 is 100% my (short) experience of reviewing games. As much as I don’t want to admit it on an anime blog (despite the aforementioned lovely people we’re surrounded by here!), gaming is my go to, but my word is it difficult to play stuff you’re not in the mood for for review purposes.
There’s always a different lens to consider when reviewing. It’s weird because it’s in no way less analytical than when playing without reviewing in mind. And while I’m always doing it for fun, It’s not fun if you’re not happy with your work, so you put work in and it can feel… worky, on occasion.
That matters no as, though limited time is something we all juggle, to use your time to invest in something creative is sooooo rewarding, providing you can retain perspective.
Anime is my close second in terms of hobbies, and let’s face it, if there’s a new Jojo out, I’m dropping everything for it but I honestly watch zero TV. I find I simply don’t want to make time for TV any more because you know, anime. It must show from the fact that anime isn’t TV in my terminology lore haha.
Good god, im rambling again…
I am amazed by anyone that reviews anything more involved than just staring at a TV. I’ve done a handful of Visual Novel reviews and they were all way more challenging than anything else I’ve done
To be honest I have no idea how I’m doing. Maybe I should revisit my articles and reviews in a year’s time and see how it reads. Ever done that?
Reggie’s (best mate who runs it) happy with my stuff so that’s something, at least haha.
I have never done that but it’s a brilliant idea!
Wow, reading through the post, pretty much everything sounds about like my personal experience with aniblogging. And i’m not exactly the model blogger that you are, what with my ridiculously untidy posting schedule and general laziness a lot of the time. I think that’w helped me keep going is, in part at least, how incredibly nice and awesome the aniblogging community is here on wordpress, and making some decisions to keep from stressing too much about not getting out a certain number of posts, as when I was trying to do tons and tons of episodic reviews, i started to burn out on Anime as a whole.
Oh I bet. Episodic reviews are really though. It’s pretty impressive you kept it up at all really
Point number three is exactly why went to the trouble of deleting every single entry in my MAL by hand (took around three hours of my time). Watching anime has become a lot easier ever since.
It’s amazing how we have the ability to suck the fun out of anything, isn’t it?!
When you contaminate fun stuff with duty… It’s not that it’s no longer fun, it’s just that there’s this feeling lurking in the margins. The innoncence is gone. Luckily, for me, there seems to be a cap on how far it can encroach.
We all feel that way I think. But I’m sure everyone else thinks you’re high key good…
This is some solid advice for newbies and stuff I would definitely have appreciated when I first started up this little corner of internet of mine.
Watching Anime is INCREDIBLY hard now that I blog because everything feels like it could become a potential project and that sometimes… Makes me procrastinate with my watching… AAAAA!
But yeah! Great post as always Irina!
I also procrastinate on watching…it’s such an odd shift
This is great advice for someone who’s only been blogging for 2 months (*ahem me). But yes, I was very surprised about how nice everyone was! Such a tight-knit community <3
I’m glad you’re enjoying it!
Well, as you know I have a multitopic blog, and for me the biggest challenge has always been to find enough of a balance. That is, I don’t want to bring out too many movie posts, for the people that enjoy the anime posts, and vice versa. The same with book reviews. So, maintaining that balance has always been the hardest thing for me. (That and I already know that I don’t as many anime as I think lol 😂😂😂)
Oh…and you don’t even have to say it yourself: you ARE pretty decent conversationalist. No…I stand corrected, you are a VERY decent conversationalist😊 This was a really terrific post! 😊😊
Oohh yeah. I actually go through a similar debate with reviews vs essays. This is why I have a content schedule…
I’m not lying here, I wish I would have a schedule. But I just know I couldn’t stick to it because of my incredibly irregular work schedule and sometimes a lot of things that unexpectedly pop up (like next week for instance I will be home very late for three nights).But that said…I try to maintain my balance anyway 😊
Love this post.
This weekend I’ve just stopped episode reviews because between work and travel, I haven’t watched a number of shows, and while I’m really happy with why I’m travelling, in the back of my mind I feel like I somehow failed even though I don’t think anybody else in the world cares whether I stick to the schedule I made up for posting or not. It is silly, but I’ve gotten very attached to my blog posts going out in a nice orderly manner.
That I can definetly relate to. I get anxious thinking that my schedule could go off track and it doesn’t matter at all…
Hahahaha Irina I don’t have a blog about anime but I can relate with nearly everything you say. Just change “don’t watch as many anime as you think” with “don”t read as many books as you think”. And yes I am among these people who surprisingly do go outdoor :D)))
Wait this outdoors thing actually exists!?! Bookish blogs amaze me to be honest.
Can’t add to your post, being very happy with the lack of commitment my non-blogging life brings me.
Just as an aside on point #3, if you do get anime exhaustion and start investing serious time into another hobby you feel like writing about (TV, cooking, sumo wrestling) please give us a link for the new blog!
Awww this is so sweet! I don’t forsee it but I definetly will share if I’m ready for a change
It does get hard to watch anime when you suddenly have a self determined job of watching anime and then writing about it. It can take a lot of fun out of it.
Also, episodic writing is hard and people that start out writing those usually don’t know what they are in for.
I know…Karandi is amazing… I can only handle the ones i do because I have help
She really is.
This was a great read 😀
#1 was inspiring. I still feel like I’m lowkey bad but i believe i at least found a style of posts that fits me.
Wow, a few more of these and you might need to prep a tutorial for YouTube. Seriously.
Don’t scare me…
Great post. It really is amazng to see how many nice people there are in the community. ‘Tis the power of shared interests, methinks.
Apparently we’re just the best is all!
All of this…totally agree with. Especially number 1. I usually think my posts are terrible but friends tell me different so it makes me feel a little better lol.
We’re always our worst critics…
This was an amazing post! Number 4 resonates with me especially as when I first started my blog I was preparing for an all out war with the internet for having my own opinions on anime 😂 I was terrified of what hate or backlash I might receive from rambling my thoughts online but everyone has been so sweet and encouraging!
Creepy right? I mean awesome….
Haha yes indeed! 😂
What is this place called the outdoors?
I read about it in a creepy pasta
I’m hoping it’s just an urban legend…
Throughout my almost 4 years of on and off blogging, I can confidently say that WordPress Aniblogging community has the nicest people out there. Of course, I very rarely interact with people but as an observer, I just can’t find any mean comments anywhere, really. And that’s great!
Number 2 is really true but in my case, it’s more about my attachment towards my blog than about the stats. After almost a year of being inactive last year, I thought about abandoning my current blog and starting a new one. Turned out that I couldn’t. This is my first ever blog so I decided to just stick with it. Now I know that no matter how inactive I might be in the future, I will most probably come back to it at one point or another. It’s a very personal and special thing to me.
‘Irina pretends to know things’ hahaha that’s funny! Why didn’t I notice that before??
4 years! Amazing! Also I knew we were the best but it’s good to have confirmation! Yay anibloggers.
Your attachment to your blog is adorable. The way you describe it just sounds so sweet.
Outstanding! I have found much the same myself!
Great to hear! We all fool ourselves in similar ways
Thank you! Your post made my day! Now I’m more excited to work on blog & not be too self conscious about it!
And we are excited to read it!